Chapter 4: Idjits!
Dean inconspicuously glanced over toward the vampire in his passenger seat before averting his eyes back to the dark road before him. He wasn't nearly as relaxed about this whole situation as he had been letting on. It wasn't that he was particularly nervous about Sam attacking him. He figured that was bound to happen at some point and he was prepared to deal with it. In a completely nonfatal way, of course. After all, it was better him than some poor unsuspecting stranger, right? But the thing that frightened Dean the most was that he had no freaking clue what he was doing. How do you take care of a vampire? So far, the only thing on the list was "Find Lenore," but who knew how long that would take? They could only track cattle mutilations so far and if the vampires were covering their tracks they'd do their best to keep such things concealed. So, what to do in the meantime?
Dean looked nervously at the gas gauge. Shit! What was it with Sam and needing to mope and drive at the same time? He couldn't just sit still and do that? Now they were in quite the predicament if you asked Dean. They weren't going anywhere without stopping for gas, but what was he supposed to do with the vampire riding shotgun? He couldn't just leave Sam somewhere. Sam may be a fighter, but that didn't mean Dean didn't want to keep an eye on him. Anything could happen. But bringing Sam to the gas station and around humans certainly wasn't a better option.
"We need gas," Dean said, voice flat and eyes still on the road. Sam watched his brother's expression closely. One hundred percent game face and not so much as a twitch. But Sam knew exactly what Dean was thinking regardless. He had been thinking much the same thing.
"Should be fine," Sam answered with a determined nod of his head. "I mean, I'm hungry, sure, but I don't feel like attacking you or anything."
"You sure about that?" Dean asked with a smirk. "We're talkin' '79 Winchester here. I'm like fine wine to vamps." The vampire just rolled his eyes.
"Fine wine, Dean? More like cheap beer."
"Yeah, well, whatever keeps those freaky ass teeth of yours out of my skin is fine with me, Sammy," the hunter grumbled, sparing a quick glance to his brother.
"Seriously," Sam started, "you don't actually smell all that appetizing to me anymore. I don't know. I just don't feel like drinking your blood."
"Okay, that's a little odd, isn't it? Shouldn't you be near starving soon?" Dean wondered out loud.
"I don't know. Guess I'm just not in the mood." Sam shrugged.
"All right then," Dean conceded somewhat unsurely. A couple of minutes later he pulled into a small gas station on the edge of town. He was relieved to find it deserted so late at night. With only the cashier to worry about, Dean felt the tension ease from his shoulders. As long as no one else showed up, everything should be just fine. He'd just have to make it quick.
"Okay, Sam. Lock the door and don't move. If anyone else comes just keep your head down and stay in the car. You got me? I'll just be in and out," the older brother ordered the younger firmly. Sam nodded, somewhat annoyed with being treated like a child…again…but understanding the urgency as well. He watched Dean slide out of the Impala and begin filling the tank.
Sam could feel the saliva building in his mouth as he became aware of the cashier standing behind the counter inside the station. He was a good distance away and indoors, but that didn't mean Sam wasn't aware of the scent of his blood or the beating of his heart anyway. Sam was used to having some form of freaky abilities to cope with, but nothing like this. There was a part of him that almost just wanted to put the demon blood back in and call a do-over. However, that wasn't possible, and even if he could actually go back in time he knew he wouldn't change anything, even despite knowing he'd never be human again and his brother would refuse to end his existence. Dean's cocky smirk as he finished fueling the sleek black car and protective tap at the window before pointing and rushing into the station to pay was an easy reminder that it had all been worth it.
Sam spent his energy focusing on Dean's heartbeat and not the cashier's as he watched them through the glass because for whatever reason Dean had become an equal, a nonfood item, and the cashier was most definitely on the menu. It was one of the most difficult temptations the vampire had dealt with in his relatively short existence and it took quite a lot of restraint, but he was managing it. That is, he was managing it until a group of half drunken college students pulled up at the pump next to his.
The truck was long and black, sleek like the Impala, but much newer. It had that luxurious and expensive quality. A graduation gift from wealthy parents, perhaps. The vehicle itself was jam packed with more passengers than it was meant to carry. A shaggy haired blond man in his early twenties with a cowboy hat and a scruffy face was hanging out the passenger window whooping and hollering as the driver, a more subdued looking fellow with thick glasses and a crooked nose, was yelling at him to reign it in. Two equally unimpressed girls were pinched in the middle, the one on the right halfway on the cowboy's lap. The driver pushed his door open as the cowboy pulled himself out the window on the other side, knocking the annoyed girl off of himself, and ran around to pat the geeky looking guy on the back.
"Woo! Man! That was some kind of party. Dude, I heard Greg's roommates are out for the weekend. We've still got a twelve pack in the back. Wanna go kick back a few with the girls?" the cowboy enthused. The glasses clad young man shifted about uneasily, looking back and forth between the cowboy and the girls in the truck.
"I don't know, man…Finals are coming up and all…"
"Don't be such a nerd, dweebo! You're lucky to be hanging out with someone like me. It's good for your rep, but if you're gonna blow it on some dumb tests…" Cowboy was mocking the other man impatiently. Sam could smell the alcohol in his blood, in all of their blood. It sent shivers down his spine. Easy prey, he couldn't stop the thought from forming.
"Just leave him alone, Levi!" one of the girls, a pissed off looking brunette wearing too much makeup and too little of everything else, called out the window as she poked her head out. "Everyone knows you're just using him for his truck. It's late and I want to go home."
"You'll go home when I'm ready to go home, Emma!" the intoxicated cowboy, Levi, spat crudely. Ooh, Sam was twitching now. Actually, he was practically seizing as he held himself back. He could feel his fangs fighting to release themselves, sweat pooling on his forehead, body so tense it was shaking, and hands clenched into tight fists. He could barely think straight as his vision clouded over and his hearing instinctively zoned in on the rushing of blood through veins. Don't do it! He was screaming into his own mind, but the thoughts were jumbled. They were being overlapped by an even more powerful thought that just kept trying to reason with him to let go and let his instincts guide him. God! Maybe if he could just kill the stupid one? Would that really be so bad? Damn it! Of course it would! His body was shaking even harder now, pulsing with the need for blood.
"Hey, Sammy," he heard Dean's gruff voice as the driver's door was opened and his brother slid into the car. "I just realized it's your birthday so I got you something," he said as he tossed something at Sam, but the vampire couldn't bring himself out of the blood haze enough to register it. "Sammy?" Dean asked worriedly. "You all right?"
"Dean, get me the hell out of here!" the vampire grunted harshly between clenched teeth. His eyes flashed as the light from the gas station caught them, a glinting predator yellow like a vicious feline on the prowl. Glancing between the vampire and the shouting kids just outside his car, Dean cringed. Sam didn't have to tell him twice; it was time to put the pedal to the metal.
It had been ten minutes since Dean had squealed out of the gas station parking lot, and Sam wasn't looking any better. It was almost terrifying, like the kid was having some sort of breathless panic attack. His body was twitching uncontrollably, his fangs had come out and were clenched together tightly, and his sweat dampened hair was hanging maniacally in his eyes. Not that Sam seemed aware of much of anything anymore.
Dean suddenly pulled over on the side of the dark country highway. Sam seemed to regain some of his focus as he felt the car stop.
"W-where are w-we, Dean?" the vampire managed to stutter out, body still rigid.
"Get out of the car, Sam," the hunter commanded. Sam felt something within him stir. Was this it? Did Dean finally realize that keeping him "alive" was futile? Did he drive him out here to the middle of nowhere to decapitate him and be done with the burden he had become?
Slowly, Sam got out of the car and followed his brother who seemed to be leading him further out into a grassy field, presumably to the "second and final death." Suddenly, Dean just stopped and Sam almost collided with his brother's back.
"Dean?" he asked.
"Bon appetit," Dean answered with a childish grin and a gesture. Sam craned his head to look at what his brother had been gesturing at and was stunned to see half a dozen cows standing lazily in the field. They hadn't even registered to him before now, but why should they? They weren't a threat, and they weren't food.
"Dean…" Sam said again.
"Come on, man," Dean groaned as he shoved his younger brother toward the closest cow. "Just do your thing."
"I…what…" the vampire stammered. It wasn't lost on him that he was suddenly a lot calmer and a lot less hungry. These cows smelled disgusting, come to think of it. Dean just kept gesturing toward the creature, stupid grin still plastered on his face. Oh, he was enjoying this all right. But Sam, not so much. "You want me to just…bite it?" he asked sickly. He'd gone from ivory white to puke green in a matter of seconds and his second set of teeth had fled just as quickly, hiding away safely from the hideous mooing beast before him.
"Yeah, I guess. So, hurry up already. Just make with the fangs so we can get out of here."
"I…uh…I can't, Dean. They won't come out. What should I do?" Sam asked him nervously.
"Do I look like Lenore to you?" Dean growled. "Shit, Sam! This is why I wanted to find her. I don't know. Just bite it and maybe they'll come out," he offered. Sam didn't look too sure about that one. It was especially embarrassing to have Dean watching him, but what other option did he have? He leaned in and attempted to jab blunt teeth into leathery flesh. It wasn't going so well and he felt stupid, chewing on a cow's neck. The cow didn't even flinch.
"They doing anything yet?" the elder Winchester inquired with a lift of his brow. Sam backed away from the beast, sputtering out little white hairs and rubbing his tongue with his hand.
"Nah, but I think I chipped a tooth," the little brother whined. Dean just quirked his brow at the vampire before sticking the mooing creature with his blade allowing a trickle of blood to escape the protesting cow's thick skin.
"Okay. Try it now," he ordered, but the vampire was giving him such a disgusted look that it seemed like Dean was asking him to do the most putrid thing in the world. Dean sighed. "What's the problem now, Sammy?"
"It smells like ass, Dean," the vampire was grumbling with a dark expression brewing on his features. The cow had since started walking away from the brothers, sleep effectively disturbed.
"It's getting away! Just suck it up and take it like a man!"
"Fine." Sam did the only thing he could think to do in such a situation. He licked the cow's neck. But of course the blood tasted like vomit, and Sam would know. Mostly because that's exactly what he was doing at the moment. Vomiting.
After his body finally stopped retching, he managed a shaky look at his brother. He expected Dean to be laughing at him. After all, what's funnier than your idiot kid brother making out with cow neck? At least it was embarrassing enough for him. Yet, when Sam looked at Dean, the older man was most definitely not laughing. In fact, he looked just as frustrated as Sam, and maybe even a little disappointed.
Of course none of this was really funny, was it? They had needed this to work, and it hadn't. They were desperate, and Sam couldn't help but feel as though he had failed his big brother. It wasn't that he expected being a vampire to be easy. Far from it, in fact. But if vampires before him had managed to survive without human blood, then why not him? What had they done differently?
"All right, Sam. Just go sit in the car. I got this," Dean told him.
"I said sit in the god damn car!" Dean's voice left no room for protest, and Sam found he didn't feel like arguing with him anyway. Instead, the new vampire just trudged back to the Impala and plopped down gracelessly in the passenger seat. Could things get any worse?
A few minutes later Dean got into the car and dropped a jar full of cow's blood on Sam's lap. Sam grimaced.
"Seriously, man?" Sam asked him, crinkling up his nose in distaste.
"We'll try again later. You seem fine for now, though."
"Yeah, that pretty much murdered my appetite," the vampire admitted as he lifted the jar to eye level and tilted it back and forth in examination. "Where'd you get the jar? I don't remember bringing one."
"Found it," Dean smirked, offering a quick wink at the grumbling vampire.
"Dean!" Sam groaned. "Who knows where this thing's been! Who knows what was in it!"
"Not like it'll 'kill' ya," his older brother quipped. Sam just rolled his eyes and looked away as Dean started the car and pulled back onto the highway. A couple of minutes later he felt something fall near his feet. He bent over to pick the offending item up off the ground and held it up before him.
"Um…Dean? What's this?" he asked with a slight rise to his voice. Dean shifted his gaze to the object in Sam's hand for a minute before his countenance took on an amused demeanor.
"Oh right. Just a little gift. Happy birthday, Sammy." The older brother stated with a wink.
"It's a…porn magazine," Sam exclaimed, eyebrows raising and forehead crinkling. Leave it to Dean…
"Yep," Dean smiled hugely. "Am I an awesome big brother or what?"
"Or what," Sam teased, but he was smiling too.
"Hey, come on, dude!" Dean protested in mock hurt. "It was a sleazy gas station. It was either that or a pack of batteries. Should have gone with the batteries." And they were both laughing.
Truth be told, Dean hadn't expected to still be around, and it had seemed kind of silly to celebrate. Now that Dean was still alive and kicking, he would have gladly done something more for his little brother. Normally, he'd take the kid out for a few beers, but that was a moot point after everything that had happened in the past couple of days. Take Sam into the bar and it wouldn't be the alcohol he'd want to be drinking. That thought alone made Dean cringe. Would anything ever be normal again? Would they ever just be able to go out and do all of the little things they had taken for granted? They had never had much, but it took Sam becoming a vampire for Dean to realize that they'd had more than he was willing to acknowledge. Even that was gone now. Sadly, he knew that Sam knew it too.
It took another hour to find an old abandoned house to squat in, but there was no other choice. Taking a hungry vampire to a motel was about as dangerous as it could get. Sure, Dean was known for asking for trouble every now and again, but he wasn't stupid. As it was, the elder Winchester managed to stumble across a decrepit old two story farmhouse filled with cobwebs, broken floorboards, and all of the creaks and groans that came with creepy old houses. It wasn't comfortable, but it felt safe.
Sam had snuggled up in a dusty old armchair, but by no means was the young vampire doing anything resembling relaxing. In fact, the poor kid looked half out of his mind with hunger once again. He would shake and squirm in the seat, and strangely he had begun to heave in deep agitated breaths. Dean assumed he was simply trying to calm himself down, but attempting to breathe through dead lungs only seemed to agitate the poor kid further. It was painful to watch.
Dean needed some fresh air and he needed it now. He stepped out onto the dark porch and inhaled a deep, shaky breath. What the hell was he supposed to do? He was supposed to be protecting his brother, but how could he do that with Sam so unresponsive and uncooperative? Okay, so maybe he wasn't being that way on purpose, but it still wasn't helping! The cow's blood wouldn't work if he couldn't keep it down, and all it was doing was making him sick.
Dean sighed as he lowered himself onto the creaky old porch steps. He was actually surprised Sam hadn't attacked him already. He had to give it to his brother. He had amazing willpower. But sooner or later….And what was Dean supposed to do when Sam attacked? One thing was for sure, he wasn't going to last much longer, and Dean definitely couldn't let a hungry vamp run free.
Slowly he pulled out his phone and frowned. It was off. He had turned it off when the whole vampire ruckus had begun. He waited for it to power on. Freakin' hell! Fourteen missed calls from Bobby…. With everything that had been going on, Dean had completely forgotten about Bobby. That man was like a second father to him and now he thought Dean was dead and being ripped apart in hell! And who knew what he thought Sam was doing? Probably figured he was on some reckless, suicidal mission to get Dean back. Actually, that last bit wasn't too far off.
He'd have to call the man back. He didn't know how to explain everything to him. Hell, he didn't know how to explain it to himself. One thing was for certain, though, he'd sure be surprised to get a call from Dean.
Bobby Singer was speeding down the interstate in his rusty old truck like a cat that had just been dropped in a tub of water. Damned idjits! He'd been trying to call Dean since the previous morning, but the idjit had turned his phone off. He could understand Dean wanting to share his last day with Sam, but those boys were like sons to him. He had at least wanted to say goodbye to the kid, to talk to him one more time. He didn't know what he would have said. There was nothing he could say that was going to change anything or make anything better, but he would have liked to say it. He would have liked Dean to know that he had Bobby as well as Sam, a little bit of support and hope to hold onto in hell.
All of that was for naught now, though. It was hours past midnight. Dean was dead and long since in hell, suffering unknown tortures he couldn't begin to imagine. Dean didn't deserve it. Not one damn bit. It was too late now, though. Dean was gone forever, an anomaly for good in a world of bad.
Well, if Bobby Singer couldn't save Dean, then he was going to save Sam. Those two boys were as close as brothers could be and no sacrifice was too great for the other. Whatever Sam was doing now, Bobby shuddered to think. Sam's phone had been on, but either it was set to silent or the boy just wasn't answering. Neither would surprise him. Bobby just hoped he wasn't too late. He just knew Sam was out there doing something foolhardy. That is exactly why Bobby had been tracking the GPS in the kid's phone. What he was doing on the outskirts of a small town in Ohio, Bobby had no idea.
Suddenly, Bobby's worrying was cut off by the buzzing of his own phone. He reached one hand over to flip it upwards and peer at the caller ID. That was strange. The call was coming from Dean's phone. Why was Sam calling him from Dean's cell phone? Poor Sam must be doing worse than he thought. Bobby hit the answer key and put the phone to his ear.
"Sam? What's going on, boy? I been callin' all day," Bobby's rough voice demandingly growled into the tiny phone.
"Bobby," a desperate voice quietly pleaded, raucous and pained. Bobby would know that voice anywhere.
"Yeah, Bobby. It's me," the voice answered, but sounded utterly miserable. Could this really be Dean? The call was coming from Dean's phone and the voice was so much like the voice Bobby knew, but Dean was in hell. Then again, no creature could fake that amount of sentiment and heartbreak, which meant only one thing…
"Balls! Tell me that idjit is still alive?" the gruff hunter growled again into the phone in worry and frustration. The other end remained silent except for broken, shallow breathing. Oh, this was bad. "Dean?"
"He's…well, that depends on how you look at it," was the eventual hesitant reply. Bobby sighed deeply, face contorting into confusion and fear.
"Dean, you're not makin' a lick of sense. I need you to stay with me, boy. What's Sam done?"
"There isn't time to explain it all over the phone, but it's bad, Bobby. It's real bad. I just," Dean sounded so broken and lost, "I just don't know what to do. I need you to get here."
"It's going to be okay, kid," Bobby assured him, desperately hoping it wasn't a lie, "I know where you are. I've been tracking Sam's phone and I'm already heading in your direction. I'll be there in a few hours."
"Yeah, thanks Bobby," Dean replied. "I've got to get back inside. Sam needs me…" Then there was nothing but a click and silence on the other end. Bobby tossed the phone back onto the passenger seat before pressing down firmly on the gas pedal. The whole truck was rumbling with protest, but Bobby didn't care. His boys were in trouble and he felt damn sorry for any cop that would try to stop him.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who read or reviewed! Sorry to cut it off here! I know some people really want to see Bobby's reaction, but this just felt like the natural ending place. Next time, I promise!